Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karl and I am in charge of the company that runs the hosting side of things here at ProjectAvalon. We decided to register an account here on the forums so that we can update you directly and moderators can stick to their job and aren't overwhelmed. Periodically myself or our senior network engineer, Alex, will be posting using this account regarding website issues.
We have been aware that over the past week or two there have been a lot of issues with site loading times. We have been working very hard to rectify the issue and we truly appreciate your patience. We have everything fixed temporarily for the moment, but we will be re-building everything from scratch and re-doing the entire server to ensure that everything is as it should be. Just to clear up some misunderstandings:
- The problems that have been occurring were not due to bandwidth being exceeded.
- The problems occurring also did not have anything to do with the server being overloaded
- Video streaming/downloads do not affect the forum. While they are located on the same server, they are run by entirely different processes.
The issues occurring were caused by something called Fast-CGI which is what controls PHP and MySQL interaction. PHP is a programming language that controls the entire forum and MySQL is the database that stores all of the actual data such as information and posts for each user. What ended up happening was vBulletin (the forum software) randomly started making too many requests to MySQL and Fast-CGI was not slowing it down. This resulted in vBulletin not getting what it wanted and chocking. We fixed this by installing a utility which limits vBulletin calling MySQL where pointless calls are being made. This entire situation was a coincidence with the traffic increase, and the actual traffic increase had nothing to do with forum slowness.
As for the videos, we are in the process of getting ProjectAvalon setup on our CDN (content delivery network). A CDN is a pool of servers that all mirror each other with the same content. Basically what this does, is for large files such as the interviews, a user browsing the site will be pulling the content from a server which is either located closest to them or has the least load. This way, the interview streaming/downloads will be faster because users will be streaming/downloading over a shorter distance or from a server that has extra capacity and will be able to push the interview to the end user faster.
One last thing....this account is for updating purposes, and we would appreciate if you could stick to the normal methods of contacting PA staff if you need help with anything, as they have multiple people who are already there for that purpose. Our job is simply to make sure that the server is running as it is suppose to. The PA staff runs the forum and all other software related things. Please feel free to respond to this or any post we make with questions or comments, but if you could refrain from private messaging us that would be great. Not that we don't want to hear from you, but we would like to keep everything as efficient as possible and make sure that no one is overwhelmed.
Thank you very much for your time and please rest assured we are working very hard to make sure that everything flows smoothly and the site is online 24 hours a day, 7 days per week